A Scottish Council has voted overwhelmingly to reject an application by a far right group in Scotland to hold a protest march.
Edinburgh City Council decided to turn down the application by the Scottish Defence League (SDL) to hold a march in the city, on the grounds that it could cause a potential `flash point’. The General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League wrote to all the members of the council’s Licence Committee, who decide whether to grant licences for such protests, to ask that they reject the application in this instance on the grounds that the SDL were intent to “cause mischief” with their protest. Following the decision by the Council, Conservative Councillor Joanna Mowat wrote to the GS to say:
“I would not normally condone the banning of a march because I believe this has grave implications for freedom of speech. When questioned by Committee it emerged that the way it was proposed to organise this march could give rise to not only a counter march but also supporters of the SDL who were not members who would not be allowed on the march and could potentially set up another flash point. Given what has happened this summer in Norway and in England I believe that there is potentially a threat to public safety if the SDL march goes ahead.”
It was initially thought that the Conservative Councillors would vote in support of the march.
This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:
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